Yesterday, I began my short sequence of sermons at Histon Baptist Church. ( I am hoping to include some of my sermon outcomes elsewhere on my web-site!) For the first time my New Jersey family was in the congregation. My two grandchildren usually leave with the other children part-way through. Sophie (aged six) went off happily and later produced a brightly coloured picture of King David. However, I saw Elliot (nearly nine) stay seated between his parents. To their surprise as well as mine he announced that he wanted to stay in church to hear Grampy preach!
From the platform I could see him learning forward, all concentration, as I began to retell the story of Jesus stilling the storm. It went through my mind how little of my sermon would connect with him. Much was heavy stuff about facing the worst fears with 'the Lord Jesus in my boat.' After twenty minutes or so, and the final song, I went to the front door in order to greet members of the congregation. Suddenly, I felt a presence at my left hand side. Standing right close to me, not saying a word was Elliot. I paused, looked down, and said how glad and surprised I was that he had stayed in church. He said not a word but just remained close by. I have no idea what was going through his mind. But his wanting to identify with me in this way seemed very precious. Another gloriously unlikely grandfather moment to savour. In church too!